Pizzeria Basta gains partner Alan Henkin, keg wine and a Sunday night drinking special that's great for geeks

Chef-owner Kelly Whitaker knew when he opened Pizzeria Basta in Boulder, 3601 Arapahoe Avenue, that if he couldn't find a strong presence for the front-of-the-house, he'd have trouble convincing diners to return, no matter how excellent his pizzas were.

He soon hired Alan Henkin, formerly of Frasca Food & Wine, 1738 Pearl Street, to consult on his beverage program, and Henkin, the dining room presence Whitaker wanted, has now bought in as a partner.

A trained sommelier and bartender, Henkin is pushing forward the beverage program at Pizzeria Basta. He and Whitaker just rolled out Sundays with Al, which will have Henkin digging up some geeky wines, beers and coffee from LaMill (including a roast that was done exclusively for Benu, Corey Lee's new restaurant in San Francisco, of which Basta managed to get a small allocation). The roster of beverages will be paired with family-style dishes, and the regular menu will still be available, as well.

Whitaker and Henkin aren't pursuing a full liquor license (yet), but they did just purchase their first keg of wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem, which should arrive in the next couple of weeks. And that will make the restaurant the first place in Boulder to serve wine on tap.

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